Rave On

It is a bitter cold day in February and I foolishly leave the house without gloves. By the time I realize it, I have reached the corner where my friends are hanging out, and I have no desire to return home so I shove my hands in my pockets and forget about them.

purple clouds 
a groundhog slips
on the ice

The sky darkens and I notice the wind biting my hands every time I take them out of my pockets. Finally, I get tired of the endless talk of Buddy Holly’s plane crash and I go home.  Once inside the house, my hands begin to sting and burn.  I am surprised to see how white they are.  Stupidly, I run to the bathroom sink and plunge them into warm water.  I scream in pain and eventually my mother comes. 

double dare
her tongue sticks
to an icicle

My hands are red and swollen with blisters. The pain is excruciating and I can’t sleep. In the morning, a doctor is summoned to the house and he diagnoses chilblains. 

guitar riff fingering the pain scale over the top

Eventually, my hands heal but the memory of that searing pain returns whenever it is cold. I never again forget my gloves.  

A few years later, as a student nurse, I am assigned to the burn unit.  I don an isolation gown and take elaborate precautions to protect my patient from infection.  His chest, arms and hands are covered with burns.  

howling wind
a wounded deer 
crosses my path

Failed Haiku A Journal of English Senryu

November 2021

Haiku My Heart – Singing

A poem-maker lives with silence, happily straining to hear what the trees whisper to the raindrops. It is winter and the rain is welcome.  It arrives with warmer temperatures and  the scent of the ocean.

After Christmas, she receives a gift – three gifts, really.  A daughter arrives with her husband and new baby  for an extended visit while their new place is made ready.

Silence departs to make room for the guests.  The poem-maker puts aside the pen and listens to the new sounds.

The baby gurgles, squeals, giggles and trills along all day, even singing himself to sleep.  She hears her daughter sing – and everyone joins in the song…. and the laughter.  Soon, she can even hear her own heart singing.  And it sounds like the gentle patter of winter rain on the roof.

©2014 WS
©2014 WS

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a mother’s voice –
the sound of winter rain
a whispered lullaby

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For Recuerda Mi Corazon – haiku my heart

For Carpe Diem – heart sutra